The online business world has a tremendous number of business consultants and coaches who offer their services to help people achieve essentially anything you can imagine. Through the development of my marketing plan I conducted an analysis of my competitors to see what they offer, their value proposition, their pricing, target market, etc. I reviewed websites that offer similar services to my businesses (www.theneotericgroup.com and www.nickimorris.com) and realized that many offer broad “consulting and coaching” services. There are few differentiating factors between each company. All use similar words such as business coaching, executive coaching, leadership coaching, business consulting, leadership consulting, management consulting, etc. How is an entrepreneur or business owner that wants to grow and improve to decide between engaging a coach or a consultant? What is the difference between a business consultant and business coach?
Things to Consider when Deciding Between a Business Consultant and Business Coach
- What are your goals?
- What are your business’ goals?
- Are there challenges for you or for the business that need to be resolved?
- What is holding your business back from being more profitable?
- What is holding you back from achieving your goals?
- Are there opportunities for you or the business to evaluate and to grow or earn profits?
- Is there a budget available for a coach or consultant?
The main difference between a coach and consultant is the type of relationship created and what or who is the main focus for the improvement.
A business coach has a working relationship with the ‘client’ – an individual who is working towards improving something or overcoming a challenge that is holding them back from achieving their goals.
A business consultant also has a working relationship with a client but the focus is improving the business, working with the owner or manager to improve the results of the business.
A Business Coach is Best:
- To develop specific competencies (e.g. management skills or leadership) or overcome challenges (e.g. build confidence, improve motivation, productivity, mindset or improve communication or accountability)
- To help overcome imposter syndrome
- When a person wants objective advice or information
- In situations where an action plan is needed to achieve a particular goal or outcome
- For a driven owner or manager needs further challenge or development or to be pushed beyond their comfort zone
- When a mid-performer is in need of further leadership or management development or support in overcoming a challenge in their professional life
- When a low performer may be in the wrong role and needs support to identify competencies and best fit
A business coach supports the development of a person or team through an action plan and encouraging accountability. Coaching usually focuses on one person or a team.
A Business Consultant is Best When:
- A business opportunity that needs to be evaluated and potentially acted upon
- There is a business concept or idea and you are not sure if it will make a great business
- A business challenge needs to be resolved
- The business needs to be taken to the next level or is not being as profitable as it should be
- An advisor or facilitator is needed to provide executive advice and recommendations
- The goal is improved overall business performance
- An assessment of the organization’s ‘health’ is needed with recommendations for improvement
- An improvement is needed or wanted in terms of people, structure, operations or strategy.
Consultants focus on improving the performance of a ‘business’ and coaches focus improving the performance of a person or team.
The goal of a business consultant and business coach is the same – to improve the overall condition of the client (whether that be an employee, an executive, a team or the business).
If you are not quite ready to work with a business consultant or business coach but you still have some challenges or fears holding you back from starting or growing your business the 25 Point Solutions Checklist may be helpful to guide you in your next steps.